Bee Venom (BV) has long been used in Korea to relieve pain symptoms and to treat inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The underlying mechanisms of the anti-inflammatory and analgesic actions of BV have been proved to some extent. Additionally, recent clinical and experimental studies have demonstrated that BV and BV-derived active components are applicable to a wide range of immunological and neurodegenerative diseases, including autoimmune diseases and Parkinson's disease. These effects of BV are known to be mediated by modulating immune cells in the periphery, and glial cells and neurons in the central nervous system.
This review will introduce the scientific evidence of the therapeutic effects of BV and its components on several immunological and neurological diseases, and describe their detailed mechanisms involved in regulating various immune responses and pathological changes in glia and neurons.